Sure, your dream Exhibit may feature two stories, countless interactive flat panels, smoke machines, AR games, and actual robot butlers, but your company’s marketing budget has yet to catch up with these aspirations. Someday, sure, but for now you need to make the most of your small display.
You may worry that your smaller exhibit will become lost in the rows of similar sized displays. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make your booth stand out from the competition.
Make the Most of the Space You Have
Your exhibit area may not be huge, but it is sufficient space to make an impact on your Visitors. You simply need to discover the configuration that will work the best.
You can start by knowing what you intend to accomplish with your display. Do you want to have intimate discussions with potential customers? Will you be accommodating VIPs? Do you have products that you need to display or demonstrations to run? Do you intend to host any presentations? Will you need any additional storage space?
All of these questions are critical to answer before you even begin to design your exhibit because your priorities will dictate the layout of your space. In many instances, a smaller exhibit is nothing but a curtained background and a table, with Staff on one side of the table as attendees filed past onto the next. That arrangement was never very consumer-friendly, and it certainly isn’t now.
Trade show and exhibition attendees want to be able to examine your products or information while they mingle with you and your staff. If you put a barrier between yourself and them, you are also placing a barrier to many future sales. You also don’t want to try and cram every single idea into the limited space you have available. A cramped and crowded space is not appealing to anyone. Instead of being a showcase of everything you have to offer, your display will come across as amateurish and messy – two messages you don’t want to send to prospective customers.
Instead, you want to utilize your area thoughtfully. Technology, such as a flat screen monitor or tablet, can serve as a replacement for literature racks and rows of product displays. Or, instead of having a few actual products at your display, you could feature several miniature models or 3D holograms. You could also utilize a product like the LED Touchscreen Product Display Box, which allows you to safely display products while visitors discover information by interacting with the informational touchscreen.
Branding is essential for a small display. With a small footprint, you need to ensure that your company’s “signature” cannot be missed. So, make sure that the graphics for your booth are eye-catching enough to make an attendee take notice. A slight pause is all your staff needs to entice a visitor to your exhibit.
As for the layout, here are six strategic small-booth designs based on an exhibitor’s needs — they include:
Semiprivate Conference Space – This layout includes two pieces of furniture: a reception desk and conversation station. It requires at least two staff members (to manage each area). No actual (or extremely minimal) products are on hand; however, product videos or interactive activities can be made available through a variety of media options.
Casual Lounge – This design is “to foster relationships with existing clients or to establish those connections with new prospects.” It needs at least two staff members who are comfortable engaging small groups of people, as opposed to one-on-one conversations. The furniture is comfortable chairs or sofas and a few side tables. An information kiosk should be available near the edge of the display for visitors who would prefer to watch a video or interactive presentation instead of mingling with a group.
Seated Demo/Presentation Area – There is minimal furniture in this display. Just a few stools for visitors to sit and listen to the presentations and a table near the rear of the display. Two staffers are needed to “greet attendees and invite them to sit down for a presentation, one needs to present while the other draws in passersby, answers questions, and scans badges.”
Product-Display Environment – This exhibit is dominated by a back wall that showcases your products. There is also a reception area, which could display a few additional products. No chairs: this is all about keeping visitors up and actively engaged in your displays. A single staffer can handle this exhibit, provided he or she is extremely familiar with your products and able to handle a rush of visitors during busy times.
Product-as-Art Atmosphere – This one is intriguing. Here, your products are displayed in cases similar to a jewelry store or museum (a perfect environment for that Touchscreen Product Display Box). It’s an ideal set up if you have expensive, high-end merchandise. At least two staffers are needed to explain the items and to remove products from the cases and show them when requested.
Service-Presentation Space – This is the setup for companies that do not have physical goods to display. The layout’s only piece of furniture is a reception kiosk. Otherwise, the main focus is on the back wall, which “enables you to project a looping video or customized display against the back wall and to show the same content on an aisle-side monitor. Or, you can use the back wall as a graphic display and house all digital content on the monitor.” While a single staffer can manage this, a second is recommended to interact with passersby while a presentation is taking place.
Staffing a small display requires consideration and thoughtfulness. While there were staffing suggestions included in the examples above, they were just that: suggestions. Too many staffers can make your display appear crowded and will actually discourage visitors. Too few staffers and you can miss valuable opportunities and leads. Ultimately you have to decide what is the right balance of people to space.
A general rule of thumb for trade shows is one staff member for every 50 square feet (plus one, for breaks, etc.) However, that is not always possible with a small booth, which means your staff needs to operate at the highest level of competence. Make sure that your staff is not only knowledgeable about your brand and products but is also prepared to smile and make eye contact all day, even as the long hours wear on. The more you do to prepare your team for the event, the better they will perform.
Take Advantage of All Opportunities
Your exhibit is not the limit of what’s available at the event. Reach out to show organizers to see if you or someone from your company could participate in a panel discussion, or there may also be an educational session where an SME from your company would be valuable. If you are debuting a new product, perhaps there is a “new product showcase” where your brand could take part or a sponsorship opportunity that would expand your visibility. Also, be sure to attend every networking session possible.
There are also steps you could take that don’t rely on the show organizers:
- Put together a happy hour or mixer for your existing clients and prospects.
- Arrange with a channel partner to perform product demos in their booth.
- Schedule off-site (breakfast, lunch, dinner) meetings with prospects you acquired at the show.
- Promote your attendance (and any special activities or promotions you’re running) on social media before and during the event.
A small booth should not be boring or unoriginal. With eye-catching graphics and a thoughtful layout, even the smallest exhibit will be a huge success. For help creating the perfect small display for your next show or any exhibiting needs, call The Trade Group at 800-343-2005.
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